It was right around a year ago at this time when the Holy Redeemer golf team began the most successful team run in Wyoming Valley Conference history that culminated with grabbing the runner-up at the PIAA Class 2A Team Championships.
Today, the Royals begin their quest to not only get back to the state tournament, but to be the first team from District 2 to claim the gold medal. This morning at Fox Hill Country Club, the Wyoming Valley Conference Team Championships will be held with the Royals taking on Lake-Lehman in the Class 2A portion of the event. In Class 3A, Coughlin, Crestwood and Dallas will battle it out for the right to claim the title. Each winner advances to the District 2 Team Championship on Oct. 4, also at Fox Hill.
“We’re going through the same expectations we had last year,” Holy Redeemer golfer Mariano Medico said. “We’re just going to play our game and take it one step at a time.”
The Royals finished undefeated in the WVC with a 12-0 record to claim the 2A Division III title and have won 53 of their last 54 WVC league matches, including four straight unbeaten seasons. They’re taking on the Black Knights, who claimed the 2A Division IV championship with a mark of 8-2 and are quite a remarkable story.
Lehman had a respectable campaign in 2012 finishing with a 6-6 record but was second to Hanover Area in the division. That coming after four straight seasons of two wins or less going with 38 losses over that time. Earlier this week, Lehman’s Nick Egan and Adam Motovidlak played at Fox Hill and advanced to the District 2 Individual Tournament with top 10 finishes as the WVC Pre-District Tournament. Egan ended tied for seventh carding an 86, while Motovidlak tied for ninth with 87. Still, the Royals are confident, especially since when they met Lehman during the season, the Royals won by 36 strokes. Redeemer is looking for its second straight WVC 2A title and fourth consecutive conference title overall.
“We’re expecting to make it to states obviously,” said Royals senior Chase Makowski, who won the pre-district tournament. “It’s just team playoffs, but I think the real challenge is going to be at districts.”
The Class 3A event appears to be more even.
Coughlin and Dallas finished with 8-2 marks in the 3A Division I. The two split the matches during the regular season. The Crusaders won on the second day of the season by 22 strokes, but when they met last week, the Mountaineers turned in a two-shot victory. Both teams also lost to Crestwood to make up the loss column.
The Comets, meanwhile, finished with a 9-1 record claiming the top spot in 3A Division II with their lone setback coming to Wyoming Valley West by eight shots last week. The Mountaineers and Comets each advanced three participants to the District 2 Class 3A Individual Tournament with strong showings in the Pre-District event earlier this week. Coughlin, the reigning WVC Class 3A team champion, will have two golfers in districts.
Picking an outright winner in 3A was complicated more at pre-districts when Dallas’ Ryan Georgetti won the event, while Crestwood’s Joe Hurn and Coughlin’s Daulton Lentini tied for second two strokes behind. The Crusaders’ Ryan Keyes finished seventh in the tourney, while the Mountaineers’ Brendan Baloh and Justin Brojakowski tied for ninth with the Comets’ Billy Dombroski.